A plugged storm water drain can be a pain.
The city of Champaign is looking for a reliable group of residents to volunteer for a unique opportunity to help themselves and their neighbors.
As described in a recent news story, city officials have implemented an Adopt A Drain program that they claim “allows Champaign residents to help protect the environment, manage stormwater, and reduce flooding of city streets.”
The program is modeled on a similar program to that in Naperville, and it makes sense, particularly for those who’ve seen how storm drains that become clogged with leaves and debris can flood city streets.
Some people already are unofficial storm drain cleaners. The city’s plan establishes a more formal approach that allows almost everyone over the age of 18 — individuals, families, youth organizations, businesses, fraternities, sororities, schools — to claim, and even name, a drain and take charge of relatively simple maintenance duties to keep it clear of obstructions.
Under the program, the city recommends volunteers clean their adopted drains “four times a year when heavy levels of rainwater will be going down the drains (March and April) and when drains are at risk for clogging (June and October).”
More fastidious storm drain cleaners can make sure their drains are cleaned prior to forecasted storms. Forgetful? Don’t worry, the city will send out email reminders when trouble is brewing.
The public works department does its best to keep the streets and drains clear of obstructions. But there are thousands of drains in the City of Champaign.
When big storms hit, it’s hard to keep up.
So neat freaks or those who like to watch backed-up water go pouring down a storm drain should consider signing up.
The city’s public works department maintains its own interactive map, where volunteers can sign up and receive instructions.
So far, more than 200 drains have been claimed. Thousands more are waiting patiently for their own personal caretakers.